Garlic Scape Pesto
- Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Garlic scapes are the tender green stems and unopened buds of hard-neck garlic. Their flavor is mild and slightly sweet, although when eaten raw you can still taste some of garlic's signature bite.
Garlic scapes are found at the start of garlic growing season, usually early summer and early fall and are increasingly sold at farmers' markets and Greenmarkets. Using them in pesto creates a versatile and tasty mix from combining the scapes with Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. You can use the finished pesto on pasta, on boiled potatoes, as a spread on crostini, or as a dip for raw vegetables.
When grating the Parmesan, use a regular grater or the food processor so that it is grainy and not soft, as when you use a Microplane rasper. If you do use a rasper, increase the amount of cheese to 1/2 cup.
- About 10 or 15 garlic scapes
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Rinse and completely dry the scapes. Cut the long strands into shorter pieces, about 6-inches, so that they fit more easily in the food processor.
- In the work basket of a food processor add the garlic scapes, pine nuts and grated Parmesan and process until finely chopped. Don't over-process. Your goal is a thick mixture that is well combined.
- With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Keep adding until the pesto is a thick purée. Transfer to a small bowl and add more olive oil if you wish a softer, more spreadable consistency.
- Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, including adding more lemon juice if you like, a 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
- Serve immediately or store in a covered container, refrigerated.
This pesto will keep for up to a week, refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving and stir to re-mix any olive oil that may have separated. This pesto will also freeze nicely for up to 3 months.